Best emergency brake setup

Brakes, Suspension, Rims and Tires

  1. DWinTX

    DWinTX Well-Known Member

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    We recently had a complete brake failure due to a bad master cylinder:

    http://www.forbbodiesonly.com/moparforum/threads/brake-failure-is-it-the-mc.134226/

    So this has gotten me thinking about the emergency/parking brake. It's one of those things I never thought much about, especially on an automatic. Can't think of the last time I used it other than testing it when I put the brakes together. But that was just while the car was sitting, not going down the road.

    So I'm wondering how effective this brake is in an emergency, versus just as a parking brake. And is one setup better than the other. The brake on the car in the post above did work to hold the car still while parked, but didn't seem to be terribly effective at slowing the car is when it's rolling. Maybe I didn't have it adjusted correctly, I'll be checking that more closely.

    So I'm wondering if doing a disc conversion like this:

    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/...MI7p6vx7yL1QIVCo9-Ch29WgL-EAQYASABEgL4N_D_BwE

    provides a better brake to use as an emergency, rather than a parking, brake. I've never had rear discs, how does the EB work on them? Does it use the brake system's hydraulics, specifically the master cylinder, or is there a manual cable that somehow applies pressure to the pads?

    I really don't need rear discs on this car, the disc/drum setup works great. But this MC failure has spooked me a bit. It's not like these cars have airbags and other safety features. We need our brakes!
     
  2. Billccm

    Billccm Well-Known Member

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    The link shows parking brake is 'caliper integrated', so it should be very good. Newer cars have the rear disc parking brake as a miniature drum brake, and it is not very good.

    Having said all that I would think the drum parking brake would be adequate at stopping the car at slow speeds, but I'm not certain a disc caliper parking brake would be much more effective.
     
  3. Billccm

    Billccm Well-Known Member

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  4. rrTor-Red

    rrTor-Red FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Your original factory set-up should be enough. Might even want to check the cable, tension on the cable but should be good. I'd save the $$$ IMHO to spend on something else.
     
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    • 451Mopar

      451Mopar Well-Known Member

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      Factory setup works good if it is adjusted correctly and the cables are not all rusted up.
      On the '69 Coronet, I recently converted to cheap 4 wheel disk brakes (Right stuff kit) and the rear caliper has the E-brake setup as shown.
      I think the brake "kit" came with new E-brake cables, but they look to be for a '71+ B body or E body (equal length)
      I made the stock E-brake cables work although they really are 2" too short. I added a 2" tube spacer where the cables mount to the car body.
      I have not driven the car yet, still messing with re-wiring the EFI and cooling system upgrades.
       
    • oldbee

      oldbee Well-Known Member

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      Emer. bros are iffy at best because of weight over rear of car but they are almost exactly as hard working as when using foot brakes. They'll stop but not nearly as good as with fronts working. Think weight transfer as it always heads towards front end when stopping.
       
    • DWinTX

      DWinTX Well-Known Member

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      Well I got everything buttoned up and adjusted correctly. You're right, they will stop you, if you have some room in front of you. The cool thing on a 65 Coronet is the brake release is in the dash, pretty much where the headlight switch is on most cars. So it's easy to reach and pull when you need to use the e-brake as a brake.

      The bad news is good luck stopping if your MC blows (like I describe in the link above) if you are any kind of a short stop. We're lucky that this one went when my son was almost stopped already. I don't know if the rear discs would be any better. I suppose another option is to try better rear drum brakes, like Muscle Car Brakes. Seems like most info I read on line about them is good. One thing I am going to do is find a better MC. I don't know exactly what that is yet, but even though the one I just put on is working fine, it's the same brand/part# as the one that failed. Bought at the same time. I'm not taking a chance that it'll be bad too.
       
    • 493 Mike

      493 Mike FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      I knew a fella with a early 50s Chrysler New Yorker which had a drum on the rear of the transmission. One of his favorite tricks was to set that brake which would lock the rear tires right up@80MPH!
      Ye Ha!
      Mike
       
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      • Billccm

        Billccm Well-Known Member

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        I don't know who, or where I picked this up, but you use the downshift first and park brake as the transmission slows the car.

        Maybe try the Dr Diff master cylinder?

        Colleague at work has musclecarbrakes all around on his 68 chevelle. They stop great. If I had to do it over again I would have not converted and used muscle car brakes.
         
      • DWinTX

        DWinTX Well-Known Member

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        Thanks Bill. Yep, that Dr Diff one is the one I'm leaning towards. My son doesn't want to lost the stock look, but safety comes first.
         
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        • 747mopar

          747mopar FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          Because of the amount of pressure it takes to slow the vehicle it's extremely important to have it adjusted where you have a lot of travel. I'll be installing the rear disc setup you linked soon so I'll find out soon enough. To me it should work better?? Drum parking brakes have always sucked, don't hold for sh!t in reverse.
           
        • DWinTX

          DWinTX Well-Known Member

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          Man, we used to do some crazy sh*t when we were young! Can't imagine that today. I had beaters that I had to pump the brakes on every time I stopped. Drove them that way regularly and didn't think much about it. Now look at me! Damn, I'm getting old.
           
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          • DWinTX

            DWinTX Well-Known Member

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            Please come back and post how they do. I'm really curious.
             
          • 747mopar

            747mopar FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          • rrTor-Red

            rrTor-Red FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            There is a place in Minnesota that will/can rebuilt M/C, http://brakeandequipment.com/ I haven't used them but word is they're pretty good. Won't hurt to contact them
             
          • Billccm

            Billccm Well-Known Member

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            Have you considered contacting Raybestos, or the NTHSA? It might be something to do. Who knows, there could be a genuine defect that could save lives and start a recall?
             
          • DWinTX

            DWinTX Well-Known Member

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            Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

            I hadn't thought about that, but it's a good idea. I'll do it.